It will take two months to lift ban on India: Sports minister

New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) India’s sports minister Jitendra Singh Thursday said a roadmap has been finalised with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and it will take another one or two months to get the ban lifted from India.

Addressing the media, immediately after landing here from Lausanne, where he met the IOC along with a delegation from the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Jitendra said the whole process could take around 60 days.

“The IOC has decided to pave way to lift the ban on IOA. Indian sports persons will be able to join the Olympic movement. A road map has been drawn up with consultation with the delegates of National Sports Federations, the government, the IOA and the IOC,” Jitendra said.

“As per Constitution of the IOA, a 30-day prior notice is required to call an Extraordinary General Meeting. I think the whole matter could be wrapped up in 60 days,” he added.

When asked who will call the extraordinary GM of the IOA, Jitendra said: “There is a dedicated person in the IOC who will take care of how to go about it, whom to be communicated and when. This is for the IOC to decide. I am not the spokesperson of the IOC. There were legal persons of the IOC involved in the whole issue. The government will have no role in IOA’s process (of calling Extraordinary GM and the election).”

The sports minister said that IOC agreed that the contentious sports code was in accordance with the Olympic Charter

“There was no relaxation on Sports Code. We discussed the Sports Code with the IOC which felt the Code was in conformity with the Olympic Charter except for the provisions relating to transparency and accountability in the functioning of sports bodies and Right to Information,” he said.

Jitendra said since the National Sports Federations (NSFs) are funded by tax payers’ money there should be some accountability.

“The government funds 40 to 70 per cent of the budget of the federations and it is taxpayers’ money and we have to make sure that the money is spent well. The sports bodies will have to be accountable,” he added.

The sports minister said that the government has invited the IOC to be a part of the re-drafting committee of the sports bill.

“The government is in process of drafting a new Sports Bill and during discussions it has been agreed that we will work along with the IOC in the proposed Bill. The first draft will be out by June 30.

“There will be provisions for an independent Election Commission, dispute redressal mechanism and good governance in the Bill to be prepared under the chairmanship of retired Justice Mudgal,” Jitendra said.

The minister also assured IOC chief Jacques Rogge that the government was not interested controlling the autonomy of the IOA and NSFs but was only concerned about ensuring transparency, accountability and good governance.

“The government had made the commitment that it had no intention to interfere in the internal workings of the NSFs. We respect freedom and autonomy of sports bodies. What we have told the IOC is that we want the principle of good governance, transparency and accountability to apply in the functioning of IOA and NSFs. The issues of ethics in their functioning and adherence to the age and tenure are being practised by the IOC itself,” he said.

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